The Kansas City, Missouri school district gets all the press, but school districts all over the metro area deal with big challenges. This year has been one of the toughest ever for Missouri’s very first school district, Hickman Mills.
12-02-12 KC Currents Full Show Click on individual stories below
Local Artifacts From The Atomic Era Once upon a time, youth in the 50s and 60s lived in fear. They practiced going to “fallout” shelters to escape the atomic bomb. Independence resident Michael Scheibach has studied this period of American history extensively. In addition to combing through school newspapers, Sheibach’s collection of photographs, posters and other artifacts from Kansas City high schools tells the story of an America trying its best to prepare for the possibility of annihilation.
11-25-12 KC Currents Full Show Click on individual stories below
Local Artist's Drawings Help Solve Crimes You’ve probably seen crime shows like CSI and America’s Most Wanted, where artists work with victims to create a drawing that helps identify a criminal. This job is performed by a forensic illustrator. If you’ve seen one of these drawings on the news in Kansas City, then you’ve seen the work of artist and author Lee Hammond, who lives in Overland Park.
11-18-12 KC Currents Full Show
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Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez For the past several years, the numbers of nontraditional college students have been increasing. But last Monday, as part of a Veterans Day observance, the University of Kansas awarded a degree to one of its least traditional graduates ever: a 91-year-old former Navajo Code Talker.
Kenyan Journalist Recalls Dangerous Career A free press tends to be something journalists take for granted as a part of American democracy. But around the world, journalism can have life-threatening occupational hazards. Before coming to the U.S., UMKC communication studies major Peter Makori faced down death as he worked as journalist for The Standard, Kenya’s oldest newspaper. After surviving ten years of intimidation, brutal beatings and imprisonment, a Friendly Press fellowship landed him at The Kansas City Star in 2005.
Requiring voters to show a photo ID has been a controversial issue in recent years with many states considering the requirement. A photo ID law got vetoed last year in Missouri, but Kansas lawmakers passed a measure last year requiring a photo ID when voting. That law got its first test in August.
Altar Celebrates Life In Day Of The Dead Tradition The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday of remembrance and celebration for friends and family members who have died. Traditionally, families build private altars honoring the dead using skulls, flowers, and the favorite food and drink of the departed. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is hosting its second annual Day of the Dead Celebration November 4th. Mexican Artist Betsabeé Romero and area artists have come together to create a special altar installation for the event.
Jazz Singer Deborah Brown’s New CD And International Attention Kansas City-based singer Deborah Brown says her new CD, All Too Soon, explores hidden gems of jazz songs. Like most of her music, the disc delivers a no-nonsense, romantic sound to fans of classic, swinging jazz. For much of her career, the singer has found those classic jazz fans at nightclubs, concerts and festivals in Europe. She’s spent the last couple of decades living and teaching off and on in Europe, and she also performs regularly in Russia.
Atheists Shed Stereotypes In Kansas and Missouri, it’s now common for a lot of politicians to not just proclaim their faith, but to openly push a pro-religious agenda. But for the past year, a Kansas City-based group has been trying to push back, although in a friendly way. The Kansas City Atheist Coalition tries to shake off the stereotypes of bitter, angry atheism while they talk to the public about the value of a secular society and government.
Concerned Parents Push For New Public School A group of concerned parents have been gathering at a coffeehouse in Waldo. The cause for concern is the state of public schools in Kansas City, MO. Rather than moving across the state line to Kansas, or to another district, these parents have decided to get a little more proactive—they want to open up a neighborhood school.